Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara Electronic Theses and Dissertations bannerUC Santa Barbara

High-Efficiency Millimeter-Wave Power Amplifiers and Packaging Design


In this research, we consider the next-generation systems (100-340GHz), as millimeter frequencies permit a much larger spectrum, and shorter wavelengths provide massive MIMO array and high image resolution. This thesis focuses on building the hardware and necessary components for such systems. It is very challenging to produce decent efficiency and power at mm-wave frequencies as the gain drops significantly and the loss increases. Additionally, mm-wave packaging requires advanced assembly techniques. Here, we introduce a network theory to analyze the amplifier design options for the maximum PAE. The proposed theory considers the stacking and parallel power approaches using two-port techniques. This theory establishes a design framework for designing high-efficiency power amplifiers. We demonstrate record efficiency mm-wave power amplifiers (140, 210, and 300GHz) with moderate output power. The 140GHz amplifiers produce measured output power (20.5-23dBm) with a record efficiency of 17.8-20.8% PAE. We present 17.7-18.5dBm output power over the 190-210GHz frequency range with high efficiency of 6.9-8.5% PAE. Finally, a massive MIMO demonstration and mm-wave packaging are presented. We started with on-waver CMOS transmitters and receivers, then moved to a single packaged CMOS channel transmitter with eight-element series fed patch antenna, which has an EIRP of 13dBm at 135GHz. Finally, we built, in fabrication, a tile holding eight elements transmitter or receiver. The thesis covered the design and implementation of high-efficient packaged transmitters that prove the feasibility of the mm-wave communication system.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View